Salt and snow management

Road salt and snow plowing help keep our outdoor surfaces safe, but also impact water quality in the Grand River.  Runoff from rain and melt water that comes into contact with salt and plowed snow may contain hazardous chemicals that can drain into drinking water sources.

Snow storage and the use of road salt are regulated through municipal Source Protection Plans under Ontario’s Clean Water Act, 2006 in order to further protect sources of drinking water from potential contamination.

Help protect our water

Keeping surfaces safe from ice and snow and limiting the amount of salt used to minimize the environmental impact is a tricky balancing act.  Here are some tips: 

  • Salt is for ice only! Do not use salt to melt snow
  • Shovel as soon as possible after or during a snowfall to prevent ice from developing.
  • Salt works best between 0 and -7°C. If temperatures dip below -7°C, consider using sand or a winter maintenance chemical with a lower working temperature. 
  • Give salt time to do its work! One tablespoon of salt is all you need to cover one-metre square area. The colder the temperature, the longer salt takes to work. 
  • Monitor weather conditions to determine when to shovel and apply salt. Do not apply salt if it is raining or if rain is expected – it will just wash away into the environment.

Spills

A spill is the discharge of a pollutant into the natural environment, out of a container and unusual in quantity or qualityIf you would like to report a spill to the City of Brantford, please phone 519-759-4150, Ext. 5594 or email WasteWaterCompliance@brantford.ca

Resources

Brantford’s Source Protection Plan contains policies that regulate drinking water threats, include the handling, storage and application of road salt and the storage of snow. To learn more, please visit the Brantford Source Protection Plan page.

Use a mapping tool to find out if your property falls within a vulnerable area.

Brantford’s Sewer Use By-law states, “No person shall store or cause or permit the storage of road salt such that precipitation or snow melt may wash salt into a storm sewer.” 

Helpful links

Lake Erie Source Protection Region – Grand River Source Protection Plans

Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks Source Protection

Smart about Salt